Three Ukrainian vessels, and 23 sailors, have been seized by Russia in the Sea of Azov.
The Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt condemned Russia’s use of military force against Ukrainian vessels entering the Sea of Azov on Sunday 25 November.
Russia’s act of aggression and seizure of three Ukrainian vessels not only outlines Russian contempt for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also its disregard for the global Rules-based International System.
Russia’s actions are further evidence of its continued violation of international commitments, following on from the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the illegal construction of Kerch Bridge by Russia earlier this year.
The Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
I utterly condemn Russia’s aggression against the Ukrainian vessels that sought to enter the Sea of Azov yesterday, including the forcible seizure of three Ukrainian ships and their crews. This incident provides further evidence of Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. We also remain concerned about the welfare of the Ukrainian sailors.
I call on Russia to ensure freedom of passage through the Kerch Straits, and for all parties to exercise restraint. Russia must not be allowed to further erode Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, especially through the use of force.